THE MP for Barrow and Furness has signed a letter calling for the government to take action to provide more support to hospitality businesses.

Over 40 MPs, including Simon Fell, have signed a letter from the chair of the all-parliamentary group for hospitality and tourism, MP Simon Jupp, urging the Chancellor to tackle the ‘unfair burden’ placed on ‘bricks and mortar’ hospitality businesses.

The letter calls for changes to business rates, a temporary cut in tourism and hospitality VAT as well as reliefs for the industry.

The letter states: “At the Budget, we kindly request that you address the inequitable business rates regime, which has long needed reform. They are severely over-taxed in comparison to, for example, online or out of town businesses. ONS data shows that if the sector's payments were consistent with its 'fair share' of turnover, it would be paying £2.4 billion less annually than it is scheduled to in business rates.

“If imminent action is not taken, more hospitality businesses, which provide our constituents with safe, warm, welcoming spaces that boost the wellbeing of the local community and support jobs, will be lost forever.”

The letter adds with the right tax framework hospitality can ‘rapidly generate economic growth’ at up to six per cent annually over the next five years.

MP for Barrow and Furness, Simon Fell, said: “I was very glad to support this campaign by my friend and colleague Simon Jupp MP.

“Furness' hospitality and tourism businesses do so much to keep our community vibrant, employ local people, and to attract people to the area. They deserve our support.”

The government say retail, hospitality and leisure (RHL) relief will be extended for a fifth year to 2024/25. This means that around 230,000 retail, hospitality and leisure properties will receive 75 per cent relief, up to a cap of £110,000 per business, on their business rates bills for 2024-25.

An HM Treasury spokesperson said: “Our decisive action helped to more than halve inflation last year, which is protecting businesses around the country from higher costs that they would otherwise have faced.

“We’ve also recently extended measures to support pubs, including a 75% discount on business rates and freezing alcohol duty until August 2024.”